extinction

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The OUREA Christian Grajewski

“317 years after human kind’s extinction, the OUREA reaches her final destination, the planet Aion. Loaded with the genetic samples and the memory of a billion people and the equipment to build a new world. Theia the artificial intelligence has the task to rebuild human society…“

bbc.com
Trophy hunting removes 'good genes'
''If the population is having to adapt to a new environment and you remove even a small proportion of these high quality males, you could drive it to extinction,'' said Dr Knell.

Hunting animals that stand out from the crowd because of their impressive horns or lustrous manes could lead to extinction, according to a study.

Research predicts that removing even 5% of high-quality males risks wiping out the entire population, for species under stress in a changing world.

Animals prized by trophy hunters for their horns, antlers or tusks usually have the best genes, say UK scientists.

Removing these could push a species over the edge, they warn.

Continue Reading.

Updated visalization of every Vaquita left on Earth

There are supposed to be 5000 of them. Now there are 30.

What has been done so far has not worked, including the ban on gill nets, and the capture effort that is coming will probably be far too late.

This is humanity’s fault.

China for pushing the market for totoaba swim bladders, Mexico for allowing it until this point, and the rest of us for not stepping up until they are at death’s door.

This species will most likely be gone in one or two years, and it will be the second cetacean species to die out in a little over ten years, the second in the entire 200 000 year history of the human species.

Two-Thirds of the planet’s wildlife could be extinct by 2020. According to the World Wildlife Fund, our animal population already declined 58% between 1970 and 2012, and we’re on the edge of a new era in which human activity has irreversibly altered the ecosystem. This loss of wildlife would be the largest mass extinction since the dinosaurs.

npr.org
How Frogs Benefited From The Dinosaurs' Extinction
Frogs are "master survivors," able to take advantage of the ecological vacuum left behind by extinct animals. Scientists say 9 in 10 frog species descended from three surviving frog lineages.

The asteroid that hit Earth 66 million years ago spelled disaster for the dinosaurs.

But scientists say they’ve found one silver lining to the mass extinction — turns out, it was really good for frogs.

The resilient animals date back some 200 million years. And in the aftermath of the extinction event, they survived and thrived, taking advantage of an ecological vacuum other animals left behind.

About 9 in 10 frog species today evolved from three frog lineages that survived the event, which occurred at the boundary between the Cretaceous and Paleogene periods, according to research published Monday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

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Back From The Dead? Reported Sightings Fuel Hope For Return Of Tasmanian Tigers

It has been more than eight decades since the last known Tasmanian tiger died. In that time, the marsupial has become the stuff of textbook sketches and yellowing photographs, little more than a memory aging into oblivion.

But Thylacinus cynocephalus may still be out there.

 Recent “plausible sightings” have challenged the accepted wisdom that the animal has gone extinct — and have inspired researchers at Australia’s James Cook University to commence a quest to find it themselves.

Let’s clarify one thing right away: this animal is no feline. In fact, it’s a marsupial — in the same family as kangaroos — but its face looks a lot like a dog.

“It’s a dog with a pouch,” the university’s Sandra Abell tells All Things Considered. She’s one of the people leading the search in Queensland, Australia.

The Tasmanian tiger, in this photograph taken while the species was still around. terr-bo/Flickr

A Tasmanian tiger in captivity, circa 1930. It is believed that the last wild thylacine was shot in 1930 and the last captive one died in 1936.  Topical Press Agency/Getty Images            

Search for Humanity

Humanity. One of the biggest enigmas in our history. They disappeared into the memory of time leaving a giant hole where they once stood.

Their home world was lost in time that followed the great frenzy. A weaponized form of rabies virus created by the Rash'lic, an ancient enemy of the humans, was released into their biome. It was spread harmlessly by the humans through physical contact. When the virus was finally activated it drove the humans to a frothing, raging madness until their brains cooked in their skulls.

The council worlds, who had large populations of humans, were thrown into turmoil by the outbreak. It took only 10 years for the disease to sunder the majority of humanity. The council, now dealing with a crumbling supply chain and economy, turned their back on humanity to devote their resources to things they could salvage. In the following century humanity became a distant memory swept under the rug by peoples who wanted to forget their shame. Over the next 5 centuries humanity is almost reduced to myth… Until now.

I am writing this report from orbit around Sol 3. It took many years of searching dead ships and buried colonies to find the chart back to Earth.

When we arrived in orbit the planet had been almost completely reclaimed by nature. The once great human cities had crumbled to the ground leaving only a few steel skeletons dotting and eroding concrete paths marking the landscape. During our scans of the surface we found small energy signatures from old fission powered systems that had not burned out yet. Once we checked the atmosphere and got the green light we took a shuttle to the surface.

I must admit I was more excited about the expedition then I let on. To be the first sentient life on the home world of one of the most diverse species in the old council! I could barely control myself.

When set out to land on the continent of North America in the ruin of New York. After touchdown we immediately set up a defensive perimeter around the ship to protect from the legendary fauna of this planet.

We had been on the surface for a couple of Earth days before we realized we were not alone. After a group of us went to check one of the power signatures we came into a man made cave (I think they were called subways) when we were trapped. Both ends of the tunnel collapsed around our group. We began to panic when we heard a voice telling us to be silent. The part that grabbed my attention is it was said in the council tongue! Then my heart sank because I assumed pirates or slavers had set up camp here.

That was when the most extraordinary thing happened. A hatch opened above us and there was a human looking down at us! A human!!! I assumed I must have been hallucinating until the human female said again for us to be quiet.

We eventually complied. She asked what we were doing on their planet. One of the expedition members explained we were there looking for remanence of them. She responded crossly, “Why? The council already abandoned us when we needed them. What makes you think we want you here?”

I was deeply hurt by this remark. I had spent my entire life learning of the injustice done to humanity. Most of us here had. I tried to explain this but the woman just shook her head and dropped a rope down to us and walked away. Once we had climbed out of the tunnel we were escorted by the woman and three other humans to their settlement.

The humans were wearing garments that appeared to be hand made from old synthetic material and newer natural material. Their weapons however were outdated but fully functional gause rifles. They all seemed to be in good health despite their rugged appearance and two of the men were cleanly shaved.

When we reached the settlement we were told that it was a Doomsday shelter built when Humanity first went to war with the Rash'lic. The facility housed both cryogenicly frozen people and cloning technology in the case of an event such as the great frenzy. The system had been set up to keep these people in stasis until it seemed that humanity was no longer under threat then it would reanimate those frozen cryogenicly then they could complete the cloning process for all the others and be able to educate and raise the children.

That event took place 200 years ago and the humans had converted the facility into a small town. They had people farming and starting domesticating new livestock as well as hunters and foragers out collecting food and supplies.

When we were brought to their leader he explained that there were a few hundred of these facilities that were operational around the world with a total population of just over 2 million people.

When I asked if there was anything he needed he just smiled and said, “No, we survived our extinction without your help. We will retake our world without your help. Then when we are ready to claim the stars we will do it without your help.

"You are free to observe our progress but do not interfere. Humanity has a very large chip on its shoulder and we show the council what it has lost. We have already recovered from extinction once. Keep that in mind”

After this we were escorted back to our ship. We left the planet and then orbit soon after. Once we reported our findings fear spread across council space. There are still written records of what happened to the races who crossed humanity. The last thing the council needed was to get any more on the bad side of a race that seems to be impossible to exterminate. They decided to monitor humanity from a distance until further notice.

opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com
Useless Creatures
We act as though animals matter only when they benefit humans.
By Richard Conniff

“This article contains no useful information. Zero. Nada. Nothing. If usefulness is your criterion for reading, thank you very much for your time and goodbye, we have nothing more to say. The truth is that I am bored to tears by usefulness. I am bored, more precisely, of pretending usefulness is the thing that really matters.I mostly write about wildlife. So here is how it typically happens for me: 

A study comes out indicating that species x, y and z are in imminent danger of extinction, or that some major bioregion of the planet is being sucked down into the abyss. And it’s my job to convince people that they should care, even as they are racing to catch the 7:10 train, or wondering if they’ll be able to pay this month’s (or last month’s) rent.

Every time I begin this line of argument, though, I get the queasy feeling that I am perpetuating a fallacy. It’s not that I’m telling lies; these examples are entirely real. But given, for instance, that three-quarters of our farm crops depend on insect pollinators, or that more than 2.6 billion people rely directly on seafood for protein, it seems a little obvious to be reminding people that wildlife can be useful, or, more to the point, that human survival depends on wildlife. Without saying so out loud, the argument also implies that animals matter only because they benefit humans, or because just possibly, at some unknowable point in the future, they might benefit humans.

Wildlife is and should be useless in the same way art, music, poetry and even sports are useless. They are useless in the sense that they do nothing more than raise our spirits, make us laugh or cry, frighten, disturb and delight us. They connect us not just to what’s weird, different, other, but to a world where we humans do not matter nearly as much as we like to think.

And that should be enough.”

Read the full article at: New York Times